Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of reader feedback, is brought to you by multi-genre writer Roger Hurn.
An Author’s Fan Mail
From time to time I receive fan mail. I’m not saying my postman ever risks getting a slipped disk from delivering a bulging bag of it to my door, but it sometimes happens that my writer’s ego gets a modest boost when a small pile of letters from my readers drops onto my doormat. I was reading a batch of them the other day when my daughter walked into my study. She saw what I was doing and said, ‘Do you know why kids write to you, Dad?’
I shook my head and said I didn’t, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was about to enlighten me. I wasn’t wrong.
‘It’s because their teachers make them,’ she said in a tone of voice used by judges when handing down a crushing verdict. ‘It’s just a writing exercise.’
I nodded. I couldn’t really argue with her. The truth is the vast majority of my letters from children do come soon after I’ve made an author visit to a school and this latest batch was no exception. But this doesn’t worry me because, even if they are teacher prompted, they are still always gratefully received and I love to get every single one of them!
‘You may well be right,’ I said. ‘But what do you make of this?’ I handed her a letter I had just read. It was from a Year 5 girl (I’ll call her “Becky”) from a school near Portsmouth and it began as follows: